Book Review: The Colorful Kitchen
Eat More Plants
Eat more plants has been our motto since the beginning of our journey toward a vegan lifestyle. We loved finding and following like-minded vegans on Instagram, such as @thecolorfulkitchen. Even her cooking style is similar to ours. We have enjoyed her colorful and mouthwatering photos of her dishes and followed her cookbook journey on Instagram.
John and I were fortunate to be able to meet Ilene from @thecolorfulkitchen at a vegan meetup in Baltimore just a few months ago. We were honored when the publisher, BenBella Books, reached out and offered us a copy of this new book (before it launched) to check out. We love it so much we want to share it with you.
Book Review: The Colorful Kitchen
When we got the book The Colorful Kitchen, we were impressed not only with the gorgeous pictures but also by the simplicity of the dishes. The recipes are easy to follow, and the batch cooking section at the back with relevant staples is a perfect resource for new and seasoned (pun intended) cooks.
The beauty and creative layout with the color-striped sections on the pages of the book and colorful script writing in the recipe titles make the book very appealing. However, it is the recipes and the photos that really give this book its two thumbs up from the VegInspired Crew. Every recipe we’ve tried so far has been a winner. Such a delight!
Cookbook Cook Along
We started with the Miso-Tahini Cookies (198) – we subbed in a chia gel for the butter to keep the cookie oil-free (we did use the chocolate chips for the dipping – yum!) This recipe was easy to make, and the cookie turned out moist and flavorful. The savory flavor of the miso paired with the chocolate coating won me over!
The next recipe we tried was the Go-To Green Smoothie(25)! I love my smoothies and often smoothie is my breakfast, so I knew I needed to give this one a go. What I liked about it was the incorporation of kale. The first time, I used peaches as the frozen fruit, and it was pretty tasty and had a fantastic green color. The second time, I used blueberries as the frozen fruit, and it was not green because the blueberries overpowered it. I used two tablespoons of peanut butter in both of these batches and felt that it was a bit too peanutty for my preference. So for the third try, I used blueberries and subbed in almond butter. The almond butter still cut the “greeniness” of the kale but provided a more subtle nut flavor which I preferred. All in all the ratios, ingredients, and flavors were great.
Dinner (Entree and Salad)
Well with cookies and smoothies as winners it was time to try a recipe (or two) for dinner. So we grabbed a whole head of cauliflower and whipped up the Whole Roasted Tahini Cauliflower(153) which we paired with The Easy Kale Salad(72). We were a bit skeptical about how a cauliflower would taste roasting it whole and if the flavor would be noticeable throughout. This recipe proved us wrong; the flavors and texture of the cauliflower were spot on, and this is a tremendous dish. There were only two of us eating, and we ate the whole head of cauliflower and the salad, so I recommend a hearty side if you make this for a crew.
With all four of those recipes turning out so well, we continued to whip up some additional dishes.
Maple-Mustard Squash & Lentil Bowl (188)
I tried this because we had an acorn squash ready to be cooked and I figured it would be a quick and easy dish. We keep french lentils in our pantry, so we subbed those. We also skipped steaming the broccoli and spinach due to personal preference. As we were assembling the bowls, I couldn’t help but think how odd the ingredient combination seemed; I mean mustard and sauerkraut and black beans all paired with squash? After the first bite, it all came together. The flavor combination was delightful. The sweet and savory maple-mustard roasted squash with the hearty lentils and black beans was perfect. The addition of sauerkraut gave it the acidic pop that solidified this as a winner. John and I agreed that sauerkraut needs to be a fridge staple in the veginspired kitchen.
Peachy Tahini Sunshine Smoothie
Another recipe with a unique ingredient list and another winner. We were hungry and had a full day of recipe testing planned, so we need a quick breakfast to tide us over until the recipe tasting started. This peachy tahini smoothie was delightful. The sweetness of the carrots and dates perfectly blended with the tahini for a creamy and flavorful smoothie that kept us full until lunch! Two thumbs up!
We have a long list of recipes we want to try from this cookbook. This cookbook would be perfect for new or seasoned vegans, vegetarians, or folks just looking to add some colorful plant-based meals to their menus. The recipes are easy to follow, the ingredients are accessible, and the cookbook is aesthetically pleasing to glance through. Ilene did an excellent job sharing her passion for plant-based meals while creating a user-friendly book. We loved this book so much we have already ordered it to gift to a new plant-based friend.
There you have it, the VegInspired’s Book Review: The Colorful Kitchen. Grab yourself a copy… Click here to order! Let us know in the comments if you love this cookbook as much as we do. Want to see more from VegInspired? Follow us on social media @veginspired. You can find @TheColorfulKitchen on social media as well.
Until next time, eat more plants and live VegInspired.